PRONUNCIATION: (am-bi-SIN-uh-struhs)

MEANING: adjective: Clumsy with both hands.

ETYMOLOGY: Modeled after ambidextrous (able to use both hands with equal ease), from Latin ambi- (both) + sinister (left). Earliest documented use: 1863.

NOTES: An ambisinistrous person has two left hands, etymologically speaking. You’d think it would be rare for such an uncommon word to have a perfect synonym, but there is one: ambilevous, from Latin laevus (left). A similar express is “to have two left feet” (to be clumsy, especially while dancing).


AMBIVINISTROUS - not sure whether red or white wine is preferred

AMBIFINISTROUS - like Schrödinger's cat: unclear whether dead or alive

AMBUSINISTROUS - using the breathing bag with the left hand